is archive

Summer 2021: AVID Update

September 10, 2021In the summer of 2021, DRW’s AVID program staff and legal interns conducted monitoring in five of the Washington State Department of Corrections’ main prison facilities. During our trips we focused on solitary confinement units and missioned housing such as the residential treatment unit, the assisted living unit, the senior unit, and the unit for people with cognitive disabilities.

Attorney General tells law makers that no statute limits people with disabilities from living in their communities

July 28, 2021In its July 27, 2021 opinion, the Attorney General’s Office smacked down the notion that there might be some legally permissible way to draft zoning or other local laws that would create categorical limits or exclusions of people with disabilities from certain communities in our state. The opinion is a long awaited response to a request made by a state legislator and a letter sent by DRW and other organizations in 2019.

AVID Program Calls for Action to Stop the Spread of COVID19 in WA Prisons/Jails

April 22, 2020DRW urges the Governor to continue releasing people who are at risk of COVID-19, focusing on those most vulnerable to infection due to age and disability. These release decisions should be holistic, and not solely based on an individual’s prior offenses.

Urge Gov. Inslee to Use His Executive Powers to Save Lives in WA Prisons

April 6, 2020This weekend, the first incarcerated individual in a Washington prison tested positive for COVID-19. As this pandemic continues to spread across Washington and the nation, Tell the Governor to protect individuals in our prisons and jails and keep all Washingtonians safe.

AVID’s Trans in Prison Justice Project Provides Identity-Affirming Support

November 5, 2019This summer, DRW’s AVID Program and Trans in Prison Justice Project were proud to be selected as the host for the 2019 QLAW Sher Kung Summer Fellowship. We welcomed Tommy Statkiewicz to the team and he got to work right away on a big project – providing legal representation for 9 transgender clients to be able to access legal name changes while incarcerated.

AVID Program receives 2019 Paul H. Chapman Award

October 2, 2019Last weekend, AVID Program attorney Rachael Seevers traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to accept a 2019 Paul H. Chapman Award from the Foundation for Improvement of Justice.

Settlement Approved in Disability Rights Washington v. Sinclair

July 11, 2019In April 2018, Disability Rights Washington and co-counsel Paukert and Troppmann filed a federal lawsuit to challenge the Department of Corrections’ practice of housing inmates with mental health needs in overly restrictive custodial settings at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. Last week a settlement agreement was approved by the federal court in this case.

DRW’s AVID Program Responds to KOMO’s “Seattle is Dying”

April 9, 2019Disability Rights Washington has appreciated previous efforts by KOMO to report thoughtfully and fairly about certain injustices faced by people with disabilities in our region. This is why we are deeply discouraged and perplexed by KOMO’s choice to produce and air its sensationalized, inaccurate, and exploitative special report about Seattle’s opioid and homelessness crises, “Seattle is Dying.”

DRW’s AVID Program and Yakima County Jail Reach Agreement to Reform Mental Health Services

January 11, 2019In December 2018, Disability Rights Washington’s AVID Program finalized a settlement agreement with Yakima County to improve the conditions for individuals with mental illness and other cognitive disabilities housed at Yakima County Jail. This settlement agreement was the product of about two years of collaboration and will be monitored by the AVID Program and a neutral expert to ensure the Yakima County Jail’s compliance with the terms of the agreement.

Go behind the walls in AVID’s new video, “Washington’s Greying Prisons and the Need for Geriatric Review”

December 6, 2018Disability Rights Washington’s AVID Project has joined with incarcerated groups at Monroe, as well as other community advocates, to propose state legislation that would create a system of post-conviction review for these older inmates. To support that effort, and show the public what our greying prison population really looks like, we teamed up with Rooted in Rights to make a video...learn more here.

AVID Program Summer Updates

September 25, 2018What has the AVID Program team been up to this summer? Find out here...

I-940 De-Escalate Ready for the Campaign and Confident of a Win in November

August 31, 2018The State Supreme Court has ruled that I-940 must be placed on the November ballot. DRW and De-escalate Washington are ready to go to the ballot and win, and then keep working for reforms with our law enforcement partners! We're committed to saving lives. The first step to that is passing I-940.

Parties in Trueblood Reach a Settlement Agreement

August 23, 2018The Parties in the A.B. by and through Trueblood v. DSHS have reached a settlement agreement which improves the competency evaluation and restoration services system, emphasizes arrest diversion, and increases community-based supports for people with mental illness.

Deadly Force Reforms Head to Washington State Supreme Court

June 7, 2018The Washington Supreme Court agrees to hear a case seeking to uphold the legislature’s passage of reforms to the state’s police deadly force law. DRW and a coalition of law enforcement and community groups stand united in support of these reforms, including improvements in police accountability and mental health training.